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Slavery in Kenya: The case of Khetia’s Supermarkets concentration camp and tax evasion

Khetia’s Supermarket log: The staff don’t have a word of choice.

There’s now a common saying that, ‘For Kenyans working with Indians, it is like 1619 everyday’.

The face of new slavery comes in no other form than that of an Asian face lording over a Kenyan with s mirk on the face, with the unsaid word, ‘utado?’.

It is all Kenyans fault.

The government cannot reform itself without pressure from outside

But then again, here is another, slavery in Kenya, this time the case of Western Kenya based Khetia’s supermarket.

Hello Cyprian,

I want to bring into your attention about Khetias Supermarket and how they are mistreating workers, more so Africans.

It is an Indian supermarket that has thrived in exploiting workers with harsh working conditions.

Workers cannot speak for themselves because they are threatened with being sacked.

The organization is overworking it’s employees without any regard to their social welfare. An example is a person who reports to work as early as 8am and leaves the organization premises at 9pm in the night. This sums up to 13hrs at work each day.

At the same time, a worker is only entitled to 2days off in a month which is totally against the Labour regulations in Kenya.

In case a person feels sick, the days they are absent from work are counted as absent days without pay which forces workers to report to the supermarket while sick and ill to avoid salary cuts. It is reported that a worker even died while at work due to such conditions and the family was never informed.

Loans as a form of keeping slaves

The supermarket is also forcing the workers to take high-interest loans of up to 30% which is against the law. This is to prevent the workers from resignation knowing that they have loans to clear with the organization. By giving such loans, Khetias is not a registered financial organization that is authorized to carry out financial services but is taking this advantage to operate illegally and exploit it’s workers.

According to sources I have interviewed, the Indian workers are paid handsomely and over the counter not through bank to avoid the remittance of PAYE.

The other workers (Mostly Africans) earn a meager salary of 13500 a month despite standing in the supermarket for 13hrs each day without rest. This is inhuman and should be condemned at large.

The organization is in suspicion of colluding with the ministry of labour officials in Kitale and also some KRA staff to hide these athrocities from being highlighted.

The workers have been threatened not to join any workers union that can champion for their rights. As we speak, no worker since the onset of Khetias has ever joined any union.

Remember they are doing this in all their branches

All this is happening, and people are suffering. Nobody is there to speak for these workers because they fear losing their jobs. They have to keep quiet and suffer. Most leave the organization while poor and with nothing to celebrate in their lives.

This is quite disheartening to watch how Indians in Khetias are treating fellow Africans with cruelty and without dignity at all. Why should these workers continue to suffer like this?

Can you please highlight the same so that the norm can stop. After I highlighted this in one Facebook group in Trans Nzoia, the organization took the initiative of bringing one reporter from Tuko news that they should not air the plights I posted. They are working on the clock to hide this but I am being told that they haven’t changed anything. Kindly assist our brothers and sisters who are suffering in this supermarket.

The people are really suffering

They have no choice but to work under these cruel conditions because they fear when they speak out they will be kicked out of the company

You can imagine a person working for 13hrs a day with no off to rest being paid 13000 a month. They don’t even regard the extra hours as overtime. They don’t care about the welfare of the workers at all.

They are good at bribing the labor officials in Kitale and the media so as not to highlight the plights of workers and the exploitation they are going through

If you are in a position then let this come into the limelight that everyone may know what African employees are going through in Khetias Supermarket.

It is so sad to watch our fellows being mistreated just because there is scarcity of jobs here

Remember they are doing this in all their branches

If you are in a position, kindly help in highlighting this rott. This exploitation by Indians should stop. Many people are being abused but they can’t talk.

Individual complaints (Verbatim)

I once had a tenant who worked for Khetia, and from the explanation on salary, you would really smell something not right. He explained to me how Khetia operates two accounting systems, the right one which show the correct OT computations na ingine which does not indicate OT which is now used to pay staff. So whoever takes on this, must be aware of this. These people are clever naskia wanakula na watu wa labour, I don’t know who. Slavery, Slavery Slavery!!!!

they have no time cards.Staffs clock in and clock out by use a special card. The same card too that looks like an ATM is wh. they are paid through. So no KRA deductions etc. Anyone suspected or in any workers union is terminated from work

Finally, someone highlighted something very crucial. Indeed, pale ni slavery tupu. At one time in 2016, I worked there for at least 30 days. Lunch mnakula kama mumesimama, which can be at even 4pm depending on how busy you are. There are at least 3 categories of employees, hao hupack na wale hupanga Natu, 9k pm, that’s 300 a day. Hao huitishwa password are paid 15k. Maly managers sijui. In short, you have stated everything as it is. Something needs to be done ASAP!

When I wen, to work for Khetias,while in Bungoma had to put my papers so as to get the chance since I badly needed it. I was being paid Kshs 300 per day. Working hours were longer since we could get in at end get out either 8 pm or even towards g pm. To add insult, on Christmas you are released on 24th evening and expected to be beck by 26th In the mooring end expected to work as usual. I stayed for sometime while looking fora better job elsewhere. Mambo ni mengi sans sane sans that I would wish to gate here.

I worked at khetias for 2 years and I can say that those 2years were the darkest years of my life. They use to pay us 200 shillings a day and 15 bob for 4 hours overtime work na ukijaribu kuongea kazi kwisha, unatumika jioni ukitoka apo umechoka to a point where even taking a shower is a big problem. Government should do something

I concur with you 100 per cent,to some extent they have indeed created employment to our brothers and sisters.But at same time exploiting them. Flow come that people of out origin working within the same earn peanuts compared to those of Asian origin whose work is just observation and earn handsomely. The problem is not Khetia’s management. But those in charge of workers rights organizatIon. This problem is all over this entire region and ifs high time we push for our rights. In other words, am saying they have colluded with labour official (CORRUPTION)to the extent if even you have issue and report to them nothing happens.

Help us fight the neo colonialism. These people are so hearties. There is even a case where a worker’s son died and the family tried to contact him through phone. They couldn’t reach him because he is not allowed with phone inside the office. The family decided to send someone physically, only for the indian at the gate to tell them to go back home he will inform. Lie did not!!!!!!!!….It was later in the evening that he told the man kwake kuna msiba, time ya kutoka…imagine The man just quit.

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